Podcast - This Is Only a Test

Episode 380 – Our Virtual Reality – 12/22/16

For our last episode of This is Only a Test this year–we record entirely in virtual reality using BigScreen VR! Jeremy, Kishore, and Norm discuss Rogue One and share some of their favorite technology products, Tested video projects, and science stories of 2016. Have a great holiday, and we’ll see you all in the new year!

Comments (23)

23 thoughts on “Episode 380 – Our Virtual Reality – 12/22/16

  1. BTW — is is possible for you to capture your VR session and post-render it to a Google Cardboard (or other lowest common denominator) -compatible video?

  2. Interesting video. I found it weird when the camera is moved to behind the hosts that the spatial audio is still as it was when facing you; so we would see Kishore on right but audio coming from left.

    Was the audio source for the video a different object than the virtual camera?

  3. I laughed my ass off at the dancing heads.

    I enjoyed this format, but still prefer the live edition for now. You were able to share content with the viewer during the podcast like you would never be able to do before. Very interesting to show it off like this.

  4. Okay, lots of stuff to go over here!

    First, the episode itself. I can definitely appreciate the proof of concept in recording an episode in VR. While it was a little funny at times to see your avatars’ hands move around, high five, etc. overall it was mostly annoying. I consume this podcast in my car during my commute to work, so I had to go out of my way to watch it on YouTube. I think playing YouTube videos and commenting on them could be something fun Tested does as a spin off, but watching you fumble through forwarding videos and talking over the videos without having balanced audio was painful to watch/hear. In a nutshell, it was kinda neat but don’t do it again. 🙂

    My favorite show this year was Shameless. It’s probably not a good fit for Tested’s audience, but it is an amazing show, and this year was one of their best seasons yet. Silicon Valley was also very good this year.

    My favorite movie was Rogue One. It was as good if not better than I had hoped. I didn’t watch any trailers or hear/read anything about it, other than what you guys discussed on the podcast. What is with Gary and blind people? lol

    My favorite travel event this year was Minecon. I had never been to a conference before, and had absolutely no idea what to expect. My kids said it was the best thing they had ever seen/done in their entire lives. I completely agree with them.

    You guys didn’t have a favorite game category, but it’s gotta be Overwatch. Blizzard knocked it out of the park with that one. So much fun! DOOM would be a very, very close second for me.

    As for all this VR nonsense, I’m pretty sure it’s just a fad that will die out. I can see some practical applications being very helpful, like therapy for people who have social anxiety, or other medical and commercial uses, but it’s never going to be in every home like Xbox/PlayStation/Nintendo/PC. You guys have been talking about it almost every week for a year or more and nothing you’ve said has compelled me enough to want to purchase one. I don’t know anyone IRL that has one, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Also how have you guys been talking about VR for this long and never once mentioned Disclosure with Michael Douglas and Demi Moore. I love that movie (and not just because Demi Moore is hot–though that does help quite a bit)!

    I hope everyone at Tested has wonderful holidays and a fresh start to 2017. Can’t wait to see where the next year takes us!

  5. Re Tarkin in the Movie – Tarkin only looked CG to people who know the Tarkin from the first movies. I went with 2 other people with very limited exposure to Star Wars and neither clued into that he was CG for almost the whole movie. I think with our familiarity with CG characters in general and familiarity with the real actor, we were hyper aware and critical. It would be interesting to see if that experience is shared by others.

  6. Neat! If I didn’t watch the VR video, i would have thought you were in the same room. I’d say it’s a successful test.

    I think that was a really successful experiment. One thing I did like is that you guys would talk about something and show the relevant thing on the screen. Would like to see that more on the regular podcast. The TWiT or Joe Rogan podcasts do that kind of thing all the time.

  7. I loved it as an experiment. I am an audio listener and the audio quality was not bad at all.

    However I found the video extremely hard to watch because of the fluctuating light levels, disembodied floating heads, flashing blue elementals, etc.

    Cheers

  8. It was cute, but I much prefer to see ya’ll IRL. If BigScreen or another app ends up supporting an audience, I would totally tune into a live show in VR.

  9. Gary tweeted that his story did not have the Chirrut character, he was introduced by Chris Weitz. So in this case, the blindness didn’t come from Gary 🙂

    There are some articles and interviews where Donnie Yen says he came up with the idea of him being blind, but who knows if there is any truth to that.

  10. y’know, as much as the VR room isn’t quite ready to really fill that role yet, the ability to quickly pull up your desktops is a very nice addition to the podcast. maybe that’s worth a consideration for 2017, kinda like patrick & shannon at tekthing do with a quick button press.

  11. Thanks for watching our experiment. We’re certainly had fun doing it, but we’ll be back our regular setup come January. I’ll keep working on improving things including examining some screen sharing options that work with our system. Thanks for watching/listening every week!

  12. Listening to the archived shows has lead me to a conclusion. I think TIOAT is really in its prime right now. Jeremy, Norm, and Kishore have made this not only enjoyable, but I would argue the best it’s ever been. Will and Gary weren’t bad, but as an overall package the new triumvirate really pulls things together in a more organic and entertaining way. A moment of science has been a wonderful addition to the show, and I definitely miss it when it’s not included.

    If y’all do an Octoberkast together, I insist there be a segment where Kishore doesn’t wear pants IRL.

    I’m glad folks enjoyed the Rogue One movie, and I really do hope it helps Donnie Yen get the kind of exposure he deserves (Kung Fu Killer is another fun one). Curious – Jeremy, Kishore – are you /did you take your kids to see the movie? If so, how did they handle the fairly dark ending?

    For me, if I never see a new Star Wars movie again I’ll be just fine. The fact that they have to CGI long dead actors is a sign that we’re living in a creativity graveyard. It’s time to move on to new worlds (i.e. non-Star Wars universe worlds), new characters, and new stories. What gave the original trilogy its real power was the story arc of the characters. Watching Luke go from whiney farm boy to Jedi knight, Han from cynical loner to someone who cares for others and fights for a cause, and Leia rediscovering that compassion can still be a part of a strong, independent leader – these were journeys worth watching. That’s a big part of why I disliked Force Awakens so much – they had to undo the previous character arcs to fit their new story (they couldn’t done it many other ways, but c’est la vie). You can’t have good stories without a beginning, middle, and end that you plan out ahead of time. Making it so that there’s never a real ending means you will never have real character growth because you have to be able to reset your characters for the next go-round.

    Can we get back to letting stories be stories and not “worlds”?

    I hope all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    P.S. – Norm – not sure how you decorate your Christmas tree, but be cautious of tinsel with a new puppy on the prowl. Puppies and tinsel don’t mix well (i.e. serious health hazard).

  13. VR may or may not be a fad, but to be honest it needs to be popular and mainstream for it to even be considered a fad in the first place. Right now VR is still quite niche because of the price of entry and market visibility.

    It will be very interesting to see where this tech goes in the future.

  14.   Agreed! When I mentioned CG Tarkin to my wife on the way home she had no idea he was CG. But since I knew immediately it was a bit distracting. However, I’m glad they have him in the movie…one more string to tie it to A New Hope.

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